Starters Academy

When: February-May 2022

Starters Academy is a oldest entrepreneurship program that runs once a year at NOVA on the 2nd semester of the academic year. Over the past 13 years hundreds of NOVA students have benefited from this course. Starters Academy aims to stimulate the entrepreneurial spirit of NOVA’s Students and to equip them with the fundamental tools for creating a start-up through a practical approach, supported by a panel of experts and recognized trainers in the field.

This multidisciplinary course is made up of students from all the NOVA Organic Units, who pass the selection process. The skills acquired in this course are valuable not only to those who want to create their own startup but also to develop entrepreneurship skills which can a be a competitive advantage in the recruitment processes of startups or established companies.

Program Content

Classes will always be face-to-face from 5pm to 8pm.

Please note that location changes to ensure students have the opportunity to meet the different campuses, so make sure you give enough time to commute.

# Date Subject Professor  Local 
1 25th February Introduction to the  Entrepreneurial Process Pedro Neves Senate Room (campolide campus)
2 03rd March Design thinking Guilherme Vitorino Innovation Lab (NOVA IMS)
3 08th  March Marketing Principles António Marinho Torres


4 17th  March Business Planning Paulo Soares de Pinho Auditorium INE (NOVA IMS)
  20th March Entrepsim Begins Enrollment  
  21st March Entrepsim Decision Round 0  
5 23rd March From idea to business: The technology, product or service Fernanda Llussá

Building VIII (DEMI) – room 3.8


  28th April Entrepsim Decision Round 1  
6 30th March Creating and Managing Entrepreneurial teams Susana Carvalho Auditorium B1, Piso 1, Torre B (NOVA FCSH)
7 06th April Financing New Ventures Paulo Soares de Pinho Senate Room (campolide campus)
  18th April Entrepsim Decision Round 2  
8 20st April Product Design and Manufacturing Bruno Soares (TBC) Senate Room (campolide campus)
  25th April Entrepsim Decision Round 3  
9 27th April Social Entrepreneurship Joana Castro e Costa (TBC) Casa do Impacto
  02nd May Entrepsim Decision Round 4  
 10 06th May Protecting & Exploitation of Intellectual Property Vasco Stilwell de Andrade Room 007 (NOVA Law)
  09th May Entrepsim Decision Round 5  
11 11th May How to pitch your idea? Ana Sofia Esteves Startup Lisboa
  18th May Prototype presentation ALL TEAMS Virtual
  25th May Pitch presentation (pre-presentation) ALL TEAMS Senate Room (campolide campus)
12 30th May Final DEMO DAY ALL TEAMS Auditorium B (campolide campus)

Starters Academy is taught exclusively in English, three hours a week.

Selected students can be Portuguese or foreign, essentially at the Master’s level, but undergraduate students can also apply, as long as they demonstrate their dedication and commitment to the project.

Students will be organized into teams, each of which will be composed of at least two students from different NOVA organic units. The teams will work together in the development of a business plan and also in the decision making of the simulation game EntrepSim, which creates a simulator environment for a technological start-up and its challenges in product development and attracting investment and licensing.

At the end of the program, the teams will pitch their project in the final DEMO DAY to a panel of Jury that will select the best project.

ENTREPSIM: Startup Simulator

The Entrepreneurship Simulator EntrepSim is an advanced simulator of a startup environment that was developed by academics and investors as a pedagogical tool to be used as a complement to the teaching and practice of entrepreneurship.

The simulation environment is a Tech-based Startup and is already pre-defined. The game will have 5 rounds of decisions and each decision will influence the output. Each team will be playing the same game simultaneously, but the decisions each team consider are individual and will generate different results.

Will you be able to transform the start-up in an unicorn?

Assessment Method

The final grade of each student results from the following components:

  • Business Plan (30%)
  • EntrepSim (20%)
  • Pitch (30%)
  • Presence and participation in classes (20%)

The successful completion of the program will also credit you with at least 6 ECTS, depending on your Organic Unit recognition of the discipline as part of the official optional subjects.


Application & Selection Process

To be part of Starters Academy, you must fill in the following form.

DEADLINE: January 30th, 2022.


The selection process will take place in two steps:

  • Individual interviews between the 7th until 11th February 2022 – Via ZOOM
  • Group dynamic on the 15th February 2022 from 18h to 19.30h – Rectorate NOVA University

Selected candidates will be informed until the 18th February 2022

BEGINNING: 25th February 2022


For more information about the Starters Academy, contact NOVA Impact by email: with the reference: StartersAcademy

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